However thin the Democratic presidential nominee's rÃsumÃ, his record is worth exploring. It's the best way to know what he's likely to do if elected.
The conclusion of those who have researched his record: He's vastly more liberal than his image.
How liberal? He's ranked as the most liberal U.S. senator -- to the left, even, of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who calls himself a socialist.
In Citizens Against Govern-ment Waste's 100-point rating of senators and congressman on fiscal responsibility, Obama got a mere 10.
And a Washington Times investigation of Obama's eight-year record in the Illinois state Senate finds that Obama was so far to the left on many votes that he made his liberal Democratic colleagues look like Rush Limbaugh.
Some examples of Obama's extremism in the Illinois Senate, as provided by The Washington Times :
- Obama was the only senator not to support a bill "to report suspected child abuse while protecting the identity of the facility or person providing the information." The bill passed 54-0-1 -- the one being Obama, who voted "present." It passed the Illinois House 117-0.
- Obama voted present "on a bill in committee requiring criminals to serve consecutive sentences for separate crimes involving convictions for severe bodily harm or sexual assault, but didn't vote at all when the measure came to the floor." The bill passed the Senate 54-0 and the House 118-0.
- Obama voted present on a bill "making it harder for abusive and neglectful parents to regain custody of their children." The Senate vote was 57-0-1, with the lone wolf being Obama.
- Obama skipped a vote on a bill "to prohibit convicted sex offenders from serving on school boards." It passed without him, 58-0 in the Senate and 106-0 in the House.
Adds the Times : "The records also show Mr. Obama voted 'no' on a bill allowing police officers to execute warrants and enter buildings without knocking if there was a reasonable belief a weapon would be used against them; voted "present" on legislation requiring that minors who commit gun crimes on or near a school be prosecuted as adults; and did not vote on a bill requiring fingerprint background checks on school bus drivers.
"Mr. Obama was the only member of the state Senate to vote against a bill to prohibit the early release of convicted criminal sexual abusers; and was among only four who voted against bills to toughen criminal sentences, increase penalties for criminals whose offenses were committed in the furtherance of gang activities, and increase penalties for the delivery of Ecstasy and other designer drugs."
Obama also voted "present" in 2001 on three bills that required medical help for babies accidentally born in botched abortions. In 2002 he had another chance -- and actually voted against helping the survivors of failed abortions.
In 2003, as chairman he helped kill a similar bill in committee.
Meanwhile, as stories come out about his having learned at the feet of socialists and even a communist, Obama has tried to downplay his connections to admitted domestic terrorist William Ayers ('a guy who lives in my neighborhood,' Obama said in a primary debate). But in papers from Ayers' "Chicago Annenberg Challenge" released just this past week after a long battle, it appears the association between Obama and Ayers was much deeper. Obama served on the organization's board for years, for a time as chairman. And Ayers hosted Obama's first campaign fund-raiser.
"They in fact were partners in various entities and regularly exchanged ideas," writes Investor's Business Daily , "including on how to turn Chicago schools into re-education camps to create a generation of social revolutionaries."
Obama isn't just ignoring or running from his past. He's actively trying to cover over it: His campaign has threatened TV stations with their broadcast licenses for running ads noting Obama's link to Ayers.
Obama's record and his associations, past and present, define him, much more so than his lofty rhetoric. And he is the definition of an extremist far out of step with mainstream American values.
By every expert's assessment, this presidential election was the Democrats' to lose. And they very well may do that. In their zeal for change, and in succumbing to the cult of celebrity without asking questions first, they have chosen a nominee who is extreme in the extreme. His record, and his views, are only now coming out.
The Democrats may have fallen in love with someone they barely knew.
That hardly ever ends well.